Latest on police-custody death: 15 officers injured, 27 arrests made

(AP) –
11:40 p.m.
    
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has wrapped up a news conference in which he says National Guard troops are now taking up positions in the city. He says they will be of use holding areas that have been cleared of rioters as police go through the affected areas of the city.
    
Battls also says at least 15 officers have been injured, six seriously whom he visited at the city’s major trauma hospital. “I told them how proud I was of them and how courageous they were,” Batt says.
    
He added that there have been a number of car fires and other fires in the streets and that law enforcement officers are still working to gain control over the situation.
    
The fires and riots erupted hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, the black man who died of a mysterious spinal injury after being taken into police custody earlier this month.
    
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11:17 p.m.
    
Donte Hickman, pastor of a Baptist church that has been helping to develop the Mary Harvin Senior Housing and Transformational Center shed tears over the fire that engulfed that building Monday evening.
    
He cried as he led a group prayer in front of the fire trucks as the firefighters fought the fire.  “My heart is broken because somebody obviously didn’t understand that we were for the community, somebody didn’t understand that we were working on behalf of the community to invest when nobody else would,” he says.
    
The fires and riots erupted hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, the black man who died of a mysterious spinal injury after being taken into police custody earlier this month.
    
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said through a spokesman that officials are investigating whether there is a connection between the fire and the riots.
    
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11:05 p.m.
    
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has gone out to some of the damaged areas, lamenting the violence.
    
“It’s extremely heartbreaking for someone born and raised in Baltimore. We know how hard people work to be able to have a city we know and love and watch a group of criminals go through our city with an intent to destroy. You don’t get justice for that. What does it solve?”
    
The fires and riots started hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious injury after being arrested.
    
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10:50 p.m.
    
Deputy Chief Fire Marshall Shawn Belton says some 80 firefighters were called to fight the huge fire that engulfed the unoccupied building under construction in east Baltimore.
    
He says embers from that fire caused damage to two other nearby buildings.
    
Police reported some car fires in the city, and news footage showed at least one car gutted by flames.  TV footage also showed a liquor store with flames inside and local reports showed police in riot gear lined up on a street confronting scattered groups.
    
A fire official, Deputy Chief Shift Commander Karl Zimmerman, says firefighters are taking precautions to stay safe during the night.
    
“What we’re doing is, when we can have a police escort, get into an area that’s unsecured and go with the police,” he added.
    
The fires and riots started hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious injury after being arrested.
    
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10:21 p.m.
    
Maryland’s Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has called for an end to the violence. In a statement, he says, “The death of Freddie Gray was a tragedy. Perhaps it can lead us on a path toward progress. Violence, fires and looting will not get us there.”
    
He added: “The line from peaceful protest to looting and violence has, sadly, been crossed. The events in Baltimore are putting first responders and many in our community at risk. Destroying property and injuring citizens and law enforcement officers drives us apart … The violence must stop.” The riots started after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious injury after being arrested.
    
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10:06 p.m.
    
Firefighters are spraying water on neighboring commercial and residential buildings around what’s left of the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, which continued to smolder after being engulfed by flames earlier.
    
They sought to assure that no flames spread, given the number of abandoned rowhouses nearby. Kevin Johnson, a 53-year-old resident of the area, says the building was to have been earmarked for the elderly.
    
“They built it from the ground up. For elderly people, for old people,” Johnson said. “Now it’s burned down, man. That don’t make no sense. It’s burned down.”
    
The riots started after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious injury after being arrested.
    
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8:55 p.m.
    
Maryland’s governor says activating the National Guard to help police with riots in Baltimore was a last resort.
    
Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday night that he did not make the decision lightly. He earlier declared a state of emergency, activating the Guard. Hogan took office in January.
    
The call for the Guard comes after people set cars on fire, looted businesses and threw bricks at police officers, hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray.
    
Gray died after suffering injuries in police custody.
    
8:30 p.m.
    
About 200 mostly men are marching arm-in-arm through a neighborhood that is littered with broken glass, flattened aluminum cans and other debris after riots in Baltimore.
    
Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings is among them. As the group approached Fulton Avenue, getting close to a line of police officers, the marchers went down on their knees.
    
After the ministers got back on their feet, they walked until they were face-to-face with the police officers in a tight formation and wearing riot gear.
    
Neighborhood residents were standing on their stoops, taking pictures. Some clapped their hands.
    
The marches were protesting the police-custody death of Freddie Gray.
    
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8:15 p.m.
    
Police say 15 officers have been injured in the Baltimore riots and two are still in the hospital.
    
More than two dozen people have been arrested after people looted stores, set cars on fire and threw bricks at police.
    
The riot started just hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died following injuries he suffered while in police custody.
    
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8 p.m.
    
The mayor of Baltimore says she will impose a weeklong curfew after people looted stores, set fire to cars and threw bricks and other objects at police officers.
    
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says a curfew will be imposed beginning Tuesday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    
The mayor, a lifelong Baltimore resident, says too many people have spent generations building up the city for it to be destroyed by “thugs.”
    
The riot began hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died after suffering an injury in police custody.

6:45 p.m.
    
A pharmacy that has been looted in the Baltimore riots is on fire and police are trying to keep people back as firefighters battle the blaze.
    
Smoke is pouring out of the CVS pharmacy, which is about 1.5 miles from downtown Baltimore. Some people cut holes in a hose that firefighters were using.
    
Nearby, liquor stores were busted open and being looted. People were in the streets drinking while police stood still nearby.
    
The riot started just hours after Freddie Gray’s funeral. Gray died after suffering injuries in police custody.
    
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6:35
    
President Barack Obama is pledging the federal government’s help to respond to riots that have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray.
    
The White House says the Baltimore mayor updated Obama on the situation and that Obama told her his administration would provide assistance as needed.
    
The White House says Obama also discussed the rioting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was sworn in hours earlier.
    
Obama and Lynch met in the Oval Office while violent scenes of rioting in Baltimore played out on television. Gray died April 19 after suffering a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody. The Justice Department and local authorities are investigating.
    
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6:30 p.m.
    
The governor of Maryland says the National Guard is on alert and may deploy to help police with the looting and violence in Baltimore.
    
Gov. Larry Hogan says he wants the Guard on alert so they can deploy rapidly as needed. The governor readied the Guard as rioters set fire to cars and a business and looters raided several stores.
    
At least seven officers have been injured in chaos.
    
The Orioles game in Baltimore has been postponed because of safety concerns.
    
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6:05 p.m.
    
An attorney for the family of Freddie Gray says they are in shock watching the violence in Baltimore.
    
Hours after Gray’s funeral, a large group of youths had a standoff with police, throwing bricks, bottles and other items at officers. Several stores have been looted and cars have been set on fire.
    
Gray family attorney Billy Murphy said the family is urging for calm.
    
“They don’t want this movement nationally to be marred by violence,” he said. “It makes no sense.”
    
Murphy said Gray’s family is lying low Monday night. Gray died after suffering critical injuries in police custody.
    
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5:55 p.m.
    
Protesters are looting a check-cashing business and other stores in Baltimore, busting through the windows and climbing inside to take items.
    
Cars have been lit on fire and a large group of youths threw rocks, bricks and other items at police. As people arrived home from work, some yelled at the youths to stop causing trouble.
    
“I never thought I’d see something like this happen in my neighborhood,” said Ted Bushrod, 32, who’s lived in the area all his life.
    
Bushrod, who said his father died in an officer-involved shooting involving the Baltimore Police Department, criticized the violence.
    
“It’s disappointing. I understand the kids’ frustration. We go through this every day,” he added, referring to black people being targeted for their race in Baltimore.
    
Freddie Gray, who is black, died after he suffered injuries while in police custody.

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5:15 p.m.
    
Groups of youths are looting a convenience store near downtown Baltimore.
    
They busted out the window of the closed businesses, and piled in. Police in riot gear began forming a line nearby.
    
A helicopter circled overhead as groups of roving youths moved through the city. Television footage showed one group of demonstrators pile on top of and ride a car as it drove in the street.
    
The riot happened just hours after Freddie Gray’s funeral. Gray suffered a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody.
    
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5 p.m.
    
A drug store is being looted in Baltimore as police and a large group of people violently clash.
    
Television images show a CVS being overrun and people running out with items. Police have not responded yet.
    
The rioters have been throwing rocks, bricks and other items at police, injuring at least seven of them. A police car was set on fire.
    
The clash began just hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

4:45 p.m.
    
Police say at least seven officers have been injured in a violent clash with a large group of youths.
    
Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said one officer is unresponsive and others have broken bones after people threw bricks, rocks and other items at police.
    
The riot occurred just hours after a funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious spinal injury while he was in police custody.
    
The clash started near the Mondawmin Mall and spread out over a wide area as a line of police officers pushed them back.
    
In a series of Tweets, police said they are hearing reports of groups setting fires around the area. Earlier, a photographer was shoved and kicked in the back.
    
At one point, a police car was surrounded and destroyed by people jumping on it. As officers arrived, one person was taken into custody.

4:15 p.m.
    
Hundreds of youths outside a mall in northwest Baltimore are clashing violently with police in riot gear, throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at the officers.
    
Baltimore police say on Twitter that several officers have been injured. Officers are using pepper-spray to keep the protesters back.
    
A flier circulated on social media called for a period of violence Monday afternoon to begin at the Mondawmin Mall and move downtown toward City Hall.
    
Earlier in the day, thousands gathered for Freddie Gray’s funeral. Gray died of an unexplained spinal injury while in police custody.
    
Outside the mall, a young person threw a flaming trash can at the line of officers, igniting a patch of grass nearby.
    
Police said at least one officer was injured after being hit by a flying brick.
    
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4 p.m.
    
People are throwing rocks and bricks at police in riot gear near a Baltimore mall.
    
Dozens of people were throwing objects at police, just hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray.
    
Gray died of a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody. Baltimore police say on Twitter that a few officers have been hurt in the chaos.
    
Officers are advancing on the crowd, and at times retreating when the objects are thrown.
    
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3:30 p.m.
    
Numerous police officers in riot gear have responded to a mall in northwest Baltimore and the mall is closed.
    
Images broadcast by WJZ-TV show a line of officers with helmets and face shields blocking off the mall’s parking lot. Some people were throwing objects at officers and a police armored vehicle.
    
It’s not immediately clear if the response was related to a Freddie Gray protest. One man held his arms up as the police moved toward him, an action that has been repeated throughout the Gray rallies.
    
Gray died of an unexplained spinal injury he suffered in police custody.

2 p.m.
    
The University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore shut down its campus at 2 p.m., saying they’ve been warned by the Baltimore Police Department that “activities” in the area may turn violent.
    
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the activities had anything to do with Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in police custody. Demonstrators angry over Gray’s death have become violent at times.
    
In an alert to students and staff, the university says “the safety of our students and employees is of paramount importance. Please vacate the campus as soon as possible.”
    
School spokesman Alex Likowski said he didn’t know what type of activity might be passing through campus or what prompted the warning from police.
    
The university’s main campus is in College Park, about 30 miles south of Baltimore.
    
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1:45 p.m.
    
The funeral for Freddie Gray has ended after a service of nearly two hours.
    
The dignitaries attending included long-time activist Dick Gregory, former Maryland representative and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume and current Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes.
    
The casket was rolled out of the church with the family following behind. Within minutes, the entire church was empty, leaving the musicians to play a rousing processional.
    
As people left, there was an image of Gray projected on the screens flanking the altar. It showed him wearing a striped polo shirt, baseball cap, pants and sneakers. The front of the program read, “Loving Memory, Freddie Carlos Gray Jr.”
    
Gray died of a mysterious spinal injury he suffered while in police custody.
    
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The NAACP says it’s opening a satellite office in Freddie Gray’s Baltimore neighborhood, known as Sandtown.
    
In a statement on the organization’s Facebook page, the NAACP said its police reform action in Baltimore dates back to the 1980s, and has involved targeting racial profiling cases. The NAACP said it also filed legal action involving traffic stops targeting black people and another one involving a high rate of incarceration of black people in the city.
    
Gray, who is black, died of an unexplained injury he suffered in police custody.
    
The satellite office in Gray’s neighborhood will include legal support from the national office, the NAACP said.
    
It’s unclear when the office will open.
    
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12:40 p.m.
    
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings is speaking at the funeral for Freddie Gray.
    
Cummings looked at the multitude of cameras along the rail of the balcony at New Shiloh Baptist Church and said: “I ain’t seen this many cameras in a long time.”
    
Gray died of a mysterious spinal injury while he was in police custody.
    
The congressman mentioned his own nephew, who was gunned down several years ago in Norfolk, Virginia. He said an assailant has never been tracked down and arrested.
    
“We will not rest until we address this and see that justice is done,” he said of the Gray case. “And so, this is our watch. We will not fail you.”
    
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12:30 p.m.
    
The Rev. Al Sharpton says he plans to meet with activists and faith leaders in Baltimore to schedule a two-day march from Baltimore to Washington in May.
    
He says the march will aim to bring the cases of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Eric Harris to the attention of new Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
    
In a statement Monday before Gray’s funeral, Sharpton says he had been resisting getting personally involved because he wanted to wait until he saw what the police department’s investigation found. But now he says since the department’s report may not be released publicly, he has decided to travel to Baltimore.
    
Police have said the department would release its report to the State’s Attorney’s office on Friday and send out updates when new information is available.
    
Gray died of an unexplained spinal injury while in police custody.
    
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12:20 p.m.
    
The attorney for Freddie Gray’s family has received a standing ovation during Gray’s funeral.
    
Billy Murphy called on the six officers suspended during the investigation into Gray’s death to come forward and tell the story “just like we tell our citizens to do.”
    
“This is our moment to get at truth. This is our moment to get it right,” he said.
    
Gray died of an unexplained spinal injury he suffered while in police custody. Five of the six officers have given their statements to investigators.
    
Murphy asked for prayers for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, “who is struggling mightily with this,” a statement that brought more applause.
    
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12:10 p.m.
    
Baltimore police say the department believes three notoriously violent gangs are now working together to “take out” law enforcement officers.
    
In a statement Monday, the department called it a “credible threat” and said members of the Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips have formed a partnership against the police.
    
The department warned other law enforcement agencies to “take appropriate precautions.”
    
The police statement came as mourners gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody.
    
Police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk would not say whether the threat is related to the death of Gray. Kowalczyk said the threat announcement has been circulated to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
    
Earlier this year, Baltimore police said the Black Guerilla Family sent a man into the Northeastern District station house with marijuana, cocaine and a loaded gun to test the station’s security.
    
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12 p.m.
    
The daughter of Eric Garner, who died of a chokehold in the custody of New York City police, is at the funeral of Freddie Gray.
    
Gray suffered critical spinal injuries while he was in Baltimore police custody.
    
Erica Garner, 24, says she came Monday because watching the video of Gray crying out when he was arrested reminded her of the crying and agony that her father went through.
    
“My father was yelling out, ‘I can’t breathe and (Gray) was yelling out – he didn’t have any words but he was just hurt,” she said.
    
She says she hasn’t met Gray’s family, but would tell them: “I feel your pain. I know what you’re going through. Stay strong and continue to fight.”
    
Garner died last July after police placed him in a chokehold on a Staten Island street.
    
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11:45 a.m.
    
The funeral for Freddie Gray has started with songs and prayer.
    
Gray died after suffering a critical spinal injury while he was in police custody. His death has prompted marches and rallies for the more than a week.
    
The church, which has a capacity of 2,500, is full of mourners.
    
Just before the start of the service, members of the Gray family gathered in front of the casket for a second time. Gloria Darden, Gray’s mother, sat down, and someone handed her a box of tissues.
    
The casket is closed and a wreath of white roses is on top of it.
    
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11:15 a.m.
    
Mourners are filing into New Shiloh Baptist Church to view the body of Freddie Gray, who suffered a critical spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody.
    
The single-file line of people passing by Gray’s body is now two-wide. One man attempted to touch Gray, but a woman grabbed his hand and pulled it away.
    
A few sobs can be heard in the church, which is nearly filled to its 2,500-person capacity.
    
The church choir, accompanied by an organ, electric piano, guitar and drums has begun singing and playing. Some of the audience is clapping, joining in the singing, and shouting in response.
    
Gray died April 19, a week after his arrest. Police are investigating his death.
    
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10:50 a.m.
    
A U.S. diplomat opened her speech on Iranian nuclear negotiations talking about how she grew up going to civil rights marches and says her father once helped baseball star Frank Robinson find a home in an all-white neighborhood of Baltimore.
    
The recent case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after sustaining serious injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police, has intensified a national debate over police treatment of African-Americans.
    
Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke Monday at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism conference on equality and civil rights in Washington.
    
She says that years ago, her father went house to house to convince homeowners in Baltimore not to flee, saying that Robinson shared their desire for good schools and a safe neighborhood.
    
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10:30 a.m.
    
Members of Freddie Gray’s family are among the last group of mourners filing into the church before the man’s funeral in Baltimore.
    
A woman from the family group who was first to reach the casket on Monday sobbed and dropped to her knees. She straightened out the tie on Gray’s body before she was led to the front-row pew. Other mourners approached her to offer condolences through handshakes and hugs. Local media outlets identified the woman as Gray’s mother, Gloria Darden.
    
Another woman followed, and she was led away to a pew as she began crying.
    
Gray died after suffering serious spinal injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police. Thousands are expected at his funeral. About a half-hour before the service was scheduled to begin, the church was about half full, and announcements were made asking mourners to file past the casket to accommodate the people lining up outside.
    
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9:45 a.m.
    
More mourners are filing into the sanctuary for the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering serious spinal injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police.
    
Shortly after the casket was opened Monday morning, people began to pour in to view Gray’s body New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. A rope was placed in front of the casket to prevent mourners from getting too close.
    
One of the early mourners used a cellphone to take a picture of Gray’s body.
    
Services were scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Thousands of people are expected. A cemetery burial is to follow the funeral.
    
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9:30 a.m.
    
Officials have opened the white casket bearing the body of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering serious spinal injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police, at his funeral.
    
The casket, flanked by eight floral arrangements on the floor, is in front of the pulpit for Monday’s services at New Shiloh Baptist Church. A wreath sits on top of the casket lid.
    
Placed atop Gray’s body is a white pillow with a screened picture of Gray.
    
A handful of people were inside the church sanctuary. Part of a balcony has been designated for media.
    
A projector aimed at two screens on the walls beside the pulpit show the words “Black Lives Matter & All Lives Matter” in red lettering.

Categories: Local News, Maryland